dribble [drib-uh l] ExamplesWord Origin verb (used without object), drib·bled, drib·bling.

  1. to fall or flow in drops or small quantities; trickle.
  2. to drivel; slaver.
  3. Sports. to advance a ball or puck by bouncing it or giving it a series of short kicks or pushes.

verb (used with object), drib·bled, drib·bling.

  1. to let fall in drops.
  2. Sports.
    1. Basketball.to bounce (the ball) as in advancing or keeping control of it.
    2. (especially in ice hockey and soccer) to move (the ball or puck) along by a rapid succession of short kicks or pushes.


  1. a small trickling stream or a drop.
  2. a small quantity of anything: a dribble of revenue.
  3. Sports. an act or instance of dribbling a ball or puck.
  4. Scot. a drizzle; a light rain.

Origin of dribble 1555–65; frequentative of obsolete drib (v.), probably variant of drip Related formsdrib·bler, noun Related Words for dribbled squirt, ooze, drizzle, run, seep, leak, spout, drop, drip, distill, drivel, salivate, slaver, drool, weep, slobber, trill Examples from the Web for dribbled Contemporary Examples of dribbled

  • Empire had dribbled away after 1945, for the Second World War exhausted victors as surely as it obliterated the vanquished.

    The Great Fallacy of Obama’s War

    M.J. Akbar

    November 13, 2009

  • Historical Examples of dribbled

  • Haig uttered one more call that dribbled into a sobbing cry.

    The Heart of Thunder Mountain

    Edfrid A. Bingham

  • You dribbled down the front, you didn’t spill things in your lap.


    Frank M. Robinson

  • She dribbled at the corners of her black, moist lips; her eye was soft and cynical.

    The Island Pharisees

    John Galsworthy

  • Again Berenice deftly caught it and dribbled for a yard or more.

    Hester’s Counterpart

    Jean K. Baird

  • The Yill servant rolled his eyes, dribbled more of the soup into the bowl.

    The Yillian Way

    John Keith Laumer

  • British Dictionary definitions for dribbled dribble verb

    1. (usually intr) to flow or allow to flow in a thin stream or drops; trickle
    2. (intr) to allow saliva to trickle from the mouth
    3. (in soccer, basketball, hockey, etc) to propel (the ball) by repeatedly tapping it with the hand, foot, or stick


    1. a small quantity of liquid falling in drops or flowing in a thin stream
    2. a small quantity or supply
    3. an act or instance of dribbling

    Derived Formsdribbler, noundribbly, adjectiveWord Origin for dribble C16: frequentative of drib, variant of drip Word Origin and History for dribbled dribble v.

    1580s, frequentative of obsolete verb drib (1520s), variant of drip (v.). Sports sense first used of soccer (1863), basketball sense is by 1892 (implied in dribbling). Related: Dribbled; dribbling. As a noun from 1670s.

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